Peace, love, and memorabilia

August 9, 2009

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What’s that expression about the ’60s? If you remember them, you weren’t there? Well, the nice thing about Woodstock is that, even if you weren’t there, or even born yet, you can relive the experience courtesy of music, books, film, and so on.

With Woodstock’s 40th anniversary upon us, there’s a glut of new releases that bring the celebrated festival roaring back to life. SARAH RODMAN



“Woodstock: Three Days That Rocked the World’’ (Sterling)

Edited by Mike Evans and Paul Kingsbury with a foreword by Martin Scorsese, this book comes chock-full of set lists, pictures, and notes and quotes from many of the “Woodstock’’ players.

“The Road to Woodstock,’’ Michael Lang (Ecco)

One breakdown of how it came together by one of the main men who made it happen as well as his partners and performers like Pete Townshend and Wavy Gravy.


“Woodstock: 40 Years On: Back to Yasgur’s Farm’’ (Rhino) This six-disc Rhino compilation expands on the original soundtrack with remastered versions, 38 previously unreleased tracks, and a detailed booklet that includes the complete band order and set lists for the entire festival.

“The Woodstock Experience’’ series (Epic/Legacy)

While the original “Woodstock’’ soundtrack album offered a few tracks from each performer, this new series of two-disc sets boasts the full performances of a half-dozen of the biggest names (who recorded for Sony) playing Yasgur’s farm, including Janis Joplin, Santana, Sly & the Family Stone, and Jefferson Airplane. Each set also includes a full album by the artist from that era.


“Woodstock: 3 Days of Peace & Music (The Director’s Cut)’’

The nudity, the mud, the flower-picking, the stoned-hippie-speak, the split screens, the brown acid. Experience it all again, man. This Amazon exclusive offers a fourth disc of even more groovy, previously deleted footage.


Boston Celebrates Woodstock

The Regent Theatre in Arlington is hosting a five-day extravaganza that will include a panel discussion with original participants, a screening of the director’s cut of the “Woodstock’’ movie, and several concerts including an evening with original Woodstock performer Richie Havens on Wednesday at 8 p.m. For tickets and more information, call 781-646-4849 or visit

The Bethel Woods Music Festival

Gas up the car for a road trip. For those itching to get back to the garden, the Bethel Woods Center for the Arts and the Museum at Bethel Woods - located in Bethel, N.Y., at the site of the original festival - will commemorate the anniversary on Saturday with this multiband fest. Artists on the bill include musicians who appeared at the original festival including the Levon Helm Band, Jefferson Starship, Ten Years After, Canned Heat, Big Brother and the Holding Company, Mountain, Tom Constanten, and Country Joe McDonald. The show starts at 5 p.m., and tickets are $19.69-$69 at 800-745-3000 or

Special Section


Your ticket to memorabilia, photos, facts, and more as we look back on the festival, 40 years later.

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